Students are subject to completion of TWO writing requirements before graduation:
1) The LOWER DIVISION WRITING REQUIREMENT is satisfied by completion of first year composition.
2) The UPPER DIVISION WRITING REQUIREMENT is satisfied by passing the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam.
Students are NOT eligible to take the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam until they have both completed the Lower Division Writing Requirement AND completed at least 56 units, thereby attaining Upper Division student status. Any UDWPE taken before a student has attained Upper Division status will be invalidated.
1. Who has to take the test?
2. Do graduate students have to take the test?
3. What is the test like?
4. Can I fulfill the requirement by passing a course instead of taking a test?
5. When and where is the test given?
6. How do I register for the test?
7. When should I take the test?
8. How can I prepare for the test?
9. Why do I have to pay to take this test?
10. Are special provisions made for students who are non-native speakers of English?
11. Are special provisions made for disabled students?
12. How can I get my score?
13. Can I take the test twice on the same day?
14. If I do not pass, can I take the test again?
15. If I do not pass, can I talk to someone about my essay?
16. Where can I get help with my writing?
17. If after meeting with a consultant I believe that my essay was wrong scored and I should have passed the test, is there an appeal procedure?
18. How do I get a registration hold released?
Note: Test score review
It is the intention of CSUN to report test results that accurately reflect each student's performance. Test administration and test security standards are designed to assure that all test takers are given the same opportunity to demonstrate their abilities and to prevent anyone from having an unfair advantage over others because of testing irregularities. With this in mind, in rare cases in which there is a question about the validity of a student's essay, the UDWPE Advisory Board reserves the right to request a student to take a retest at no cost to the student at which time the student must bring acceptable specified identification. The Advisory Board will notify the student of the decisions regarding the retest outcome.
All students who plan to graduate from CSUN, including students seeking a second undergraduate degree. A student is eligible to take the test any time after completing a total of 56 semester units and after completing the lower division writing requirement. Students must pass the WPE at the campus at which they are enrolled.
Yes, the test is required of graduate students entering CSUN to attain classified status (unless they have passed it previously as undergraduates). Usually, graduate students must satisfy the Writing Proficiency requirement during the first semester of residency. Check with your department.
Students are allowed 75 minutes to write an extemporaneous essay on the assigned topic. Students read a one-page text, are asked to identify the main points of the text, and then respond to a prompt regarding the text using their own reading, observations, and experience.
The test will be given eight times during the 2012-13 academic year. Registration closes when capacity has been reached. Students will receive an Admission Ticket in their CSUN email which will give them important information regarding when and where to report for the test. You must print and bring this Admission Ticket with you on the day of the exam. Check Important Dates for this year’s schedule.
Identification is required for admission to the test:
In order to be admitted to the test, you must have a valid Admission Ticket for the test date and time and two types of acceptable ID. First, all test takers must have one current, valid (not expired) government-issued ID containing a recent and recognizable photo and signature. The first and last name on the ID must match exactly the name on Admission Ticket (no exceptions will be allowed). The second type can be a CSUN school ID. If you do not have acceptable ID, you will not be permitted to take the test.
You must register online. Please follow the links for the UDWPE at www.csun.edu/testing/reg. Have your CSUN user ID, password, campus email address, and a VISA/Mastercard or checking account number ready as you will be asked to pay a $20.00 fee before completing your online registration. You will print your own Test Admission Ticket after registration: click on "Admission Ticket." You must bring this on the day of the exam to be admitted.
If you miss the WPE for which you registered, the fee cannot be rolled over to another exam date. You will have to re-register and pay another $20.
As soon as you have earned 56 units and fulfilled the lower division writing requirement - and certainly before you have earned 75 units. If the test reveals that your writing does not satisfy college standards, you will have ample time to improve your writing skills.
You must pass this examination to graduate.
Graduate students should take the test during the first semester of residency. You must pass this examination to achieve classified status.
Because this test measures a skill that takes time to develop, there is no quick and easy way to prepare for it. The best preparation is to have done a considerable amount of reading and writing, and to have taken writing seriously throughout your high school and college career. For students uncertain of their writing skills, CSUN provides several writing courses, as well as a number of tutorial services and writing workshops. (These courses, labs, and workshops are listed below under Question 16.)
Although the Trustees mandated the demonstration of writing proficiency as a graduation requirement, they provided no funds in the budget for this purpose. The campus was left with no choice but to make the test self-supporting. The fee represents the per-essay cost of conducting the testing program, and, consequently, it must be charged each time a student takes the test.
No. Non native speakers of English will be scored on the same basis as native speakers. While some provision is made for minor variances in syntax and idiomatic usage, faculty readers apply the same standards with respect to the major considerations of logic, organization, and grammar.
Yes. In some cases the test is given to disabled students by individual appointment. Please call Disability Resources and Educational Services at (818) 677-2684.
Go to www.csun.edu
- Log into the Portal
- Scroll down to the black box on the left side of the page - "Tools for Academic Success"
- Click on "Check Test Scores"
Scores are available through SOLAR within four weeks.
Scores are not provided over the phone or via email.
Each essay is read and evaluated by at least two faculty members in a carefully planned and supervised reading. Each reader scores an essay on a scale of 1 to 6, and the two scores are combined. 12 is the highest possible total score. A score of 8 or above is passing.
No. This violates the 75 minute time limit. If a student takes the test twice on the same day, neither test will be scored and the exam will have to be taken again.
Yes. However, if you fail the test, we urge you to make an appointment with a writing consultant at the Learning Resource Center. See the next question for more information.
Yes. After each test administration, you may seek an individual consultation with an experienced writing consultant in the Learning Resource Center. To make an appointment call (818) 677-2033. This service is offered at no cost to students. Consultations may be available on a limited basis during the summer (from June through August).
Individual consultations and writing workshops are available at the following places:
Learning Resource Center (677-2033) BH 408
Chicano Studies Tutorial (677-7881) JR 148
Pan-African Studies Writing Center (677-2084) SH 273
English 090 is especially recommended for students who have failed the test two or more times, and it is offered each term, including summer. This course is designed for those students who need intensive writing instruction.
Other departments throughout the University offer writing courses. Contact the individual departments.
17. If, after counseling, I believe that my essay was wrongly scored and I should have passed the test, is there an appeal procedure?
Yes. The consultant will explain the appeal procedure to you.
The WPE office does not place or remove registration holds. Contact your major department or the Office of Undergraduate Studies.
All students must pass the WPE to graduate!
If you have failed the WPE, contact the WPE office for a consultation appointment (818) 677-2033. Graduating seniors who failed the WPE may contact admissions and records (818) 677-3700 regarding graduation holds.